Atty. Castaneda wins the DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing for her client. As a follow-up to the article posted on April 22, 2019, she was right—the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Driver Safety Officer ruled that her client’s suspension of her driving privilege is set aside.

The Officer upheld Atty. Castaneda’s argument that the police officers had no reasonable cause to conduct a Driving Under the Influence investigation. The DMV officer found that the police officer’s belief that the Defendant/Respondent was the driver at the time of the collision was unwarranted. The DMV officer based her ruling that Respondent denied driving and was not the registered owner of the vehicle. No driving was observed by the officer who witnessed the collision.

The DMV officer further found that because of the absence of reasonable cause to believe the Defendant/Respondent was driving a motor vehicle, it was determined that the Defendant/Respondent was not lawfully arrested for violation of driving under the influence of alcohol. As a result, the administrative action against her client cannot be upheld.

The officer even went further and affirmed Atty. Castaneda’s other arguments that she elicited during her cross-examination of the arresting officer.  “Officer was subpoenaed by the DMV and based on the cross-examination of counsel “testified he made an error on page 1, marking Respondent admitted to driving. Officer clarified in testimony that in fact Respondent denied being the driver involved in the traffic collision.”

DMV officer concluded, “counsel was on point in that no driving was observed by the officer and no witnesses appeared to testify to that fact. As a result, the administrative action in this case cannot be upheld.”

DMV has determined that (1) the peace officer did not have reasonable cause to believe the client was driving the motor vehicle at the time of the incident; (2) client  was not placed under lawful arrest; (3) and client was not driving a motor vehicle with a .08% or more by weight of alcohol in the client’s blood.

As a result, the DMV officer’s Findings and Determination, suspension of the client’s driving privileges is set aside. It is difficult to “win” against the DMV, since the burden of proof is lower than the criminal case coupled with the DMV officer being the judge and jury. But Atty. Castaneda, through effective cross-examination of the peace officer, and efficiently navigating the DMV hearing process, succeeded in obtaining an excellent disposition for her client.

Comments or questions, you may reach her at [email protected] or 310-601-1744.

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